SPLICE Software

SPLICE Software

Calgary, AB, Canada

www.splicesoftware.com

Grade: A

SummarySPLICErs (worker nickname) are foodies, willing to help others, eager to learn, quick to adjust, risk-takers and looking to improve. They work in a friendly culture actively screening for workers who fit and want to be a part of an organization with great benefits, collaboration tools, training and perks.

Intro: SPLICE’s company culture is authentic, fun and driven by the company mantra that “We believe it can be better”. We believe that the empowerment of our employees is the driving force for growth and innovation at SPLICE. To this end, SPLICE ensures that its mantra, “We believe it can be better,” is reflected in every department. Our culture is very transparent, and we feel that candidates are able to pick up on this through SPLICE’s marketing efforts, or by simply talking to any of our SPLICErs (this is the nickname for our employees that seemed to stick).

Team building and growth is a crucial part of SPLICE’s success, and by hosting a variety of events throughout the year, the team is able to share new experiences and grow not only as co-workers but also as friends. Having developed a strong interdepartmental bond through these activities we can maintain an open and fun working environment. Our mantra is also carried out when we give back to the community that has given us so much – through team volunteering, at homeless shelters and urban farms, and engagement with organizations, such as Start-Up Calgary, that support local entrepreneurs. We’re a big city business with a small town heart, and we’re happy to give back to the community that gave us this identity.

With offices in Calgary, Toronto, and Chicago, it is easy for companies existing across different locations to experience a disconnect, but with the strong belief in company culture, and quarterly team events, the various offices remain constantly connected across the infinitely mobile workforce. This ensures that we exist in a state of constant connectivity. This connectivity also allows the corporate culture to expand throughout all channels of SPLICE – creating an international family whose primary purpose is to drive and inspire their fellow employees to grow and advance within and beyond their roles.

President & CEO’s, Tara Kelly has been able to nurture a business culture that emulates her personal value system, so SPLICE operates under 5 Core Values that underlie the entire team’s daily activities. These are: We Believe it can Be Better, Personal Accountability, Committed to the Company’s Success, Eager to Learn, and Team Player. Because of this, the company has a better understanding of what keeps employees fulfilled, and is able to retain and nurture some of the top professionals in the field. One of our biggest drivers is that we’re keen on keeping our team of A-players happy, so we work hard to ensure we’re making things better for each other too. We believe that the longer employees are around, and the happier they are, the better the customer service. Essentially, what makes SPLICE desirable comes down to two things: people (who care about a balanced and fulfilled life) and passion (for making positive changes in the world).

Impact statements: 

  • SPLICE’s company culture is authentic, fun and driven by the company mantra that “We believe it can be better”
  • Team building and growth is a crucial part of SPLICE’s success, and by hosting a variety of events throughout the year, the team is able to share new experiences and grow not only as co-workers but also as friends.
  • Our mantra is also carried out when we give back to the community that has given us so much – through team volunteering, at homeless shelters and urban farms, and engagement with organizations, such as Start-Up Calgary, that support local entrepreneurs.
  • We’re a big city business with a small town heart, and we’re happy to give back to the community that gave us this identity.
  • With offices in Calgary, Toronto, and Chicago, it is easy for companies existing across different locations to experience a disconnect, but with the strong belief in company culture, and quarterly team events, the various offices remain constantly connected across the infinitely mobile workforce.
  • Employees are rewarded and recognized for their efforts through the SPLICE KPI Bonus Program, which ties in to SPLICE yearly reviews. Through this program, employees are motivated to progress in their roles which, in turn, aids in the success of the company itself.
  • One way of fostering an atmosphere of trust throughout the team is to have cultural and performance alignment check points – these are measured through annual peer reviews and self-evaluations.
  • Professional development is encouraged and SPLICE offers opportunities for employees to progress in their positions.
  • When first hired, SPLICE employees are trained internally (on the core business) for 1-2 weeks.
  • As a small company, employees tend to truly care for each other and invest in getting to know their team members.
  • SPLICE’s dedication to volunteering and community involvement is a crucial part of our company culture.
  • Our HR team has recently implemented an Employee Net Promoter Score (NPS) Survey as a way to measure and track team member satisfaction.
  • Healthy eating is an important part in SPLICE culture – many employees live by this mantra and are always providing recommendations on how we can transfer this into our office space.
  • SPLICE will also try to recognize team members through external awards. In 2015, two of our employees were awarded Stevie Awards for Women in Business. We completed their applications for Employee of the Year and they both came out as winners.
  • SPLICE has implemented a Surprise & Delight program to celebrate small or big wins with items specifically tailored to the employee’s personality.

The final step of SPLICE’s recruitment process is our culture fit interview which is performed after qualifications have been verified. Culture fit interviews consist of a handful of SPLICE employees sitting with the candidate to talk, in person, on a more personal level – about their interests, hobbies, etc.

Advancement Opportunities:

From the moment new employees are hired they become part of a tight-knit team with their hiring manager, whom they closely work with on a daily basis. This allows for optimal training and insights while also maintaining a close relationship that helps young employees move up the ladder quickly and with confidence in their training. Employees are rewarded and recognized for their efforts through the SPLICE KPI Bonus Program, which ties in to SPLICE yearly reviews. Through this program, employees are motivated to progress in their roles which, in turn, aids in the success of the company itself. This program incorporates the results of SPLICE Key Performance tracking – the higher the performance, the higher the reward and opportunity to advance. This model helps to motivate and incentivize the team, allowing employees to be passionate about the work they are doing and in turn share in the company’s success.

One way of fostering an atmosphere of trust throughout the team is to have cultural and performance alignment check points – these are measured through annual peer reviews and self-evaluations. These evaluations assess not only the employee’s skills; instead, they focus largely on the employee’s demonstration of the SPLICE core values. A meeting with the employee’s manager as well as the President & CEO is conducted to review the results of these assessments and discuss areas of excellence and opportunities for improvement. We want to ensure that all employees have the resources they need to exceed expectations and grow in their positions. Understanding strengths and weaknesses within the team helps determine any appropriate training needed to keep us aligned to our vision and mission.

Professional development is encouraged and SPLICE offers opportunities for employees to progress in their positions. Employees are able to attend outside training and development sessions relevant to their roles in order to promote continuous learning. SPLICE also strongly believes in building a person’s resume. We would like all employees to be able to move into positions that best profit them and allow them to build on their skills and strengths. In order to do this we have developed a career development plan that is reviewed during the employee’s annual review and updated at quarterly touch-base meetings. This plan helps recognize where management sees the employee going at SPLICE within a certain time frame, the career goals of the employee, and the training and skills that are needed to get to those positions. Tara Kelly, the President & CEO, has been quoted in saying that “your resume should get better and better the longer you stay with SPLICE,” to realize this, new opportunities for success are given to employees who have a hunger for learning and being part of a new project.

Special Training opportunities:

When first hired, SPLICE employees are trained internally (on the core business) for 1-2 weeks. After moving through a basic review of product information, marketing initiatives, and sales strategies, new employees are paired with SPLICE veterans for instruction on the software itself. SPLICE takes a very hands-on approach to training, and while the initial training takes on the characteristics of a ‘job-shadow’ approach, there is ongoing mentorship that continues throughout the career of SPLICE employees. Initiative and an internal locus of control are both highly valued at SPLICE, to foster this, we encourage and challenge employees to ask questions and raise initiatives to further their own education and the impact of SPLICE’s software. All new employee training is performed in-house to ensure the most personalized experience possible.

Professional development is strongly encouraged, and such initiatives are closely linked to opportunities for SPLICE employees to advance in their positions. From a professional development standpoint, SPLICE maintains a per-employee budget dedicated to employee education and development, with any additional costs approved on a case-by-case basis. The training budgets are dictated by position and are built to maintain continuous learning; by focusing more on the amount of TIME that should go into ongoing training than the COST, SPLICE has been able to help all employees build customized training programs for themselves that help them develop their resume in the ways that work best for them.

SPLICE also supports training outside of an employee’s area of responsibility. Employees are encouraged to ask questions within different departments, and there is always an open invitation for employees to join in on department specific training sessions. Knowledge sharing is an important factor in the success of SPLICE and the curiosity of our employees gives us the flexibility and ease to function at 100% when employees are on holidays.

Employees are encouraged to attend external training and development programs or events to expand their understanding and grow in their field. This has, in the past, included attendance to large industry events such as HRPA in Toronto, OSCON in California as well as the Net Promoter Certification course in Chicago. Employees are also encouraged to attend any local events that may improve networking skills and general business knowledge. Most employees want to share the knowledge gained through attending these events by hosting Lunch & Learns and Webinars for the rest of the team.

This framework of continuous learning is one that is crucial to the SPLICE culture of employee engagement and development. These courses can range in length, and are chosen subjectively on an employee-to-employee basis. As mentioned previously, training budgets include external training programs and are dictated by position. Employees can request specific training programs that are important to them, both personally and professionally, and pitch why they believe these programs would add value, and benefit them and their growth, both personally and at SPLICE.

Medical benefits:

SPLICE is pleased to provide a comprehensive benefits package that is comparable to those offered by large international corporations headquartered in Calgary, AB. Medical benefits are available to all SPLICE employees after 3 months of employment, and are extended to employee dependents as well – provided the SPLICEr meets the 24hr work week minimum. Benefits coverage is an average of 80% for basic services. SPLICE group benefits offer the following:

Group life, basic accidental death, disease & dismemberment, dependent life critical illness

Short term disability benefits

Extended health care (including out of country emergency travel assistance, chiropractic & acupuncture, and naturopathic medicine)

Dental (basic, major and orthodontic)

Special accommodations:

As a small company, employees tend to truly care for each other and invest in getting to know their team members. Special accommodations have been made in the past for special circumstances, including, but not limited to, the following examples:

Example 1: An employee’s spouse had a family member that had recently been diagnosed with a health condition. Although she had no remaining paid time off (PTO) for the year, she requested some unpaid time off to spend Christmas with them. SPLICE insisted unpaid time off was unnecessary and gave her the extra few days off over the holidays.

Example 2: SPLICE supported one of our employees by allowing him to work remotely from various locations around the world. He was an integral part of the team and had a passion to travel and live abroad. SPLICE made a special effort to support his passion, and he was able to work long-term from various locations including San Francisco and Berlin. We arranged a mutually beneficial schedule that allowed working hours to overlap, despite the time zone differences. This enabled him to continue to participate in meetings and connect with the team on a daily basis through email, chat systems and Skype. We optimized the technologies available to stay connected daily and when he returned from his travels, he integrated seamlessly back into the office.

Example 3: A member of our management team seriously injured her knee and required surgery. As she was eager to continue working, SPLICE made a special exception and allowed her to work from home for an extended period of time. This allowed her to care for her knee appropriately, while not using any vacation days or need to go on short-term disability. We used technology to connect with her daily and participate in meetings. Upon her return to the office, we were conscientious when planning team events and scheduled low-intensity activities that she could participate in. Additionally we allowed her to work alternate hours to attend doctors’ appointments. Supporting our team member through this process supported helped her recover more quickly from her injury and continue to work with the team she loves to manage and be a part of.

Community service/charitable causes:

SPLICE’s dedication to volunteering and community involvement is a crucial part of our company culture. SPLICE Software is dedicated to helping build a better community, with a motto and core value of “We Believe It Can Be Better” that does not stop at business. Giving back is a value deeply ingrained within the SPLICE team. As such, Tara encourages her employees to engage in activities that give back to the community.

During company time, the SPLICE team participates in various community days – donating their time and skills to organizations like The Mustard Seed (an organization focused on ending homelessness) and GROW Calgary (an organization dedicated to the provision of food for the needy). Just last summer, the SPLICE team helped the organization reach their goal of growing 100,000 pounds of produce to ensure low-income families had access to fresh and locally sourced food. Though there are many causes needing support, hunger and homelessness are the two main causes that SPLICE is most passionate about. SPLICE’s Toronto and Chicago teams also take community days to volunteer at local organization that support the same causes.

As an organization, SPLICE has invested with Start-up Calgary and Alberta Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) to promote technology in Alberta. We also actively donate to the City of Hope’s Spirit of Life Gala, Mayerthorpe Fallen Four Memorial Society, and the Brick Novice Hockey Tournament.

The SPLICE team mirrors a tightly-knit family, and employees are heavily involved in the company’s charitable contributions and outreach. Philanthropy is a bottom-up and top-down initiative at SPLICE. SPLICE employees are as equally committed to giving back to the community as they are to SPLICE’s success. If you don’t believe the world can be better, you aren’t working for SPLICE.

Employees are always encouraged to explore additional volunteer opportunities, and several of the charitable initiatives are done as a team. If there is an organization that is particularly close to an employee’s heart, the entire team will often work together to contribute to that cause. In 2015 several SPLICE employees helped plan and organize the inaugural Food for the Sol event, an annual fundraising event to create awareness & education, and provide funding to organizations that provide fresh produce to those in need, one community at a time, starting in Calgary. Additionally SPLICE employees are given various paid community days in which they donate their time and visit charitable organizations. SPLICE believes a strong work-life balance creates well-rounded individuals, and encourages employees to explore and give back to the world around them.

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Measuring satisfaction:

Our HR team has recently implemented an Employee Net Promoter Score (NPS) Survey as a way to measure and track team member satisfaction. The Employee NPS Survey is meant to support SPLICE, learning and development, in order to understand which elements of employee sentiment and engagement most affect our loyalty and advocacy. We would like to be able to take what we learn from this survey and use it to identify ways we can improve our work environment and create a positive impact on our clients. As an example, based on a scale of 0-10, we ask our employees how likely they are to recommend SPLICE to their network as a place to work and if they would recommend SPLICE solutions.

We are able to follow up by asking what the primary reason was for the score they provided and changes we could make to improve that score. We focus on questions that allow our employees to really think about their time here, to learn if they were offered a similar position at a different company, would prefer to stay with us? If so, what are the reasons behind that decision? And what can SPLICE do to make each employee more happy and fulfilled?

This survey is sent out quarterly to different groups of employees, meaning that each employee will only have to complete this survey once per year. The separation of employees into groups allows us to constantly monitor the trends throughout the year without spamming our team with survey links and emails. Following each survey group, our team will hold a “focus group” with the surveyed individuals to go through feedback and spark discussion on how we can improve the scores provided and what would make our employees more likely to recommend us to their networks.

Creative meeting places:

Yearly Team Registration for the Calgary Dragon Boat Festival which is held on a beautiful reservoir overlooking the Rocky Mountains.

Previous Annual Team Meetings at the Grizzly Paw and Iron Goat Restaurants in Canmore, AB – again surrounded by the gorgeous Alberta landscape.

Previous Team Events Include: White Water Rafting in Kananaskis, AB; GPS Challenge in Canmore, AB; Rock Climbing in Kananaskis, AB; Ropes Course & Zipline in Canmore, AB; Speeders Go Karting in Calgary, AB.

Annual Christmas Parties Include: Aussies Rules Dueling Piano Bar in Calgary, AB; Cooking Class at The Cookbook Co. Cooks in Calgary, AB; Murder Mystery Dinner in Calgary, AB.

Perks:

Healthy eating is an important part in SPLICE culture – many employees live by this mantra and are always providing recommendations on how we can transfer this into our office space. Currently SPLICE receives a weekly fruit, cereal and granola bar delivery to our Calgary office and a monthly fruit delivery to our remote offices. We also provide beverages including a variety of specialty coffees, tea and hot chocolate. It gives our team an opportunity to take a break in the workday and have a healthy snack – allowing them to feel more energized for the rest of the day.

SPLICE often hosts potlucks, which allows the team to show off their culinary skills and is a great chance to connect with one another. All new hires are greeted with lunch with the entire team on their first day, giving everyone the opportunity to personally welcome them to SPLICE. We regularly bring in treats on holidays, birthdays and as a surprise – sour soothers are certainly a favorite in the office. Additionally, SPLICErs are avid Pi-Day celebrators – having each team member bring in their favorite sweet or savory pie and spend time eating and hanging out with the team.

The Calgary office also has a parking lottery, where each week a new name is drawn and the winning employee gets the underground, heated parking space – especially valuable in the Calgary winter season! Since the Toronto office is located in downtown, where parking is sparse (and not needed), their office suite provides discounted gym memberships as a perk!

Fun:

The SPLICE Calgary office is located away from downtown; however, it’s conveniently located in a residential/commercial area. This provides our team with an array of activities throughout the day. There is a farmers market located conveniently across the street from the office and employees regularly spend their lunchtime breaks catching up over delicious Indian or Mediterranean food. Right next door is a public hockey rink that doubles as a basketball court in the summer months. The SPLICE team will often take a mid-day break to play some ball or there are a few who brave the winter weather to play hockey and unwind. Not only does this bring the team together and builds on teamwork skills, it also gives them time to catch some fresh air and fresh thoughts – they will be re-energized and ready to take on the rest of the day!

The building in which our Toronto team is situated hosts a Wednesday afternoon Happy Hour in which all companies head down to the basement for some beers and networking. This is a good opportunity for our SPLICE Toronto team to get to know their neighbors and also to bond as a team outside of the office.

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Collaboration tools:

SPLICE has benefited from a technology service called HipChat (www.hipchat.com) – an instant messaging tool provided by Atlassian (provider of a variety of work flow management systems for SPLICE). HipChat is a messenger service (via mobile app or desktop computer) that has enabled SPLICE to keep a strong culture and internal communication with all employees – no matter where they are. HipChat allows the team to be able to quickly communicate with co-workers within and outside their own office. This program is used by every SPLICE employee on a daily basis – rather than sending large group emails, HipChat allows for quicker response times and increasing productivity. This tool also allows us to chat individually, as a team, or within set departmental groups.

One of our employees recently recommended the use of Asana as a project and task management tool. Based on this recommendation, and how much the whole team loved it, we have implemented the use of Asana company-wide. With Asana, users are able to set up projects, set deadlines and assign tasks to different team members. Additionally, they are able to see the progress of any project without scheduling an additional meeting or sending emails that aren’t actionable. Users are able to comment directly within projects and tasks, tag users and attach documents where needed to ensure team communication is at its highest. Team pages make it easy for employees to see what is happening within their departments on a day to day basis. The visual design of Asana is bright, and has a lot of personalization options. Team members can “like” tasks, projects and comments to provide recognition for items that may have made a big impact on the team. Of the most exciting, and admittedly geeky, features that the SPLICErs love is that we can set up rewards upon task completions – like celebration unicorns that dance across your screen when you complete tasks.

Essentially, both Hipchat and Asana, have great benefits to daily work at SPLICE – creating more accountable employees through more manageable projects and tasks, and they also have fun quirks that connect the team – making them, both, great metaphors for life at SPLICE.

How corporate vision is communicated:

SPLICE Software’s vision and mission is to provide the best voice experiences in the world. We seek to achieve this by creating and sending authentic, personalized human-voice communications to our clients’ customers. In doing so, we provide their customers with an exceptional customer experience. In order to maximize customer engagement, we are committed to providing personalized, linguistically optimized communications that are relevant and valuable to customers. Tara Kelly, President & CEO of SPLICE, has a transformational leadership style. Extremely dedicated and charismatic, she challenges the status quo by encouraging growth through word & action. She serves as an inspiration for the SPLICE team through knowledge, mentorship, & opportunity. As a leader, she is willing to take risks & influence change, which helps motivate the team in all their endeavors, raising their tier of performance to fulfill a common vision.

SPLICE has made a large commitment to changing and re-organizing our business objectives and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). We have built KPIs that effectively measure our solutions’ ability to meet client pain points. This has enabled us to accurately track our performance and movement toward our annual growth goals. Tara encourages everyone at SPLICE to “Live a life you are proud of.” As such, Tara has worked hard to maintain and refine SPLICE’s goals and KPIs in order to provide total alignment throughout the team – keeping it simple, measuring what matters, and ranking the items that are most important both personally and professionally.

SPLICE Software measures day to day performance and employee engagement using a RACI model. RACI’s are built per employee, from SPLICE KPI’s, and align to the vision and mission of the company. The RACI helps structure the activities and tasks involved in supporting the critical success factors and to clearly define roles and responsibilities within them. Each employee is assigned an R (Responsible), A (Accountable), C (Consulted) or I (Informed) and the team works together to encourage maximum involvement in assigned roles by sharing any jobs well done. At the beginning of each quarter, the management team will revisit the KPI’s and pick a selection to really focus on. Each employee will then use their RACI to create a 30-60-90 day plan – which determines the tasks and activities that are most important in that quarter, how much time they plan to spend on those activities and which quarterly KPI they fall under.

The leadership team is responsible for communicating the vision throughout the organization, and setting the pace for personal growth and achievement. In order to create a more transparent environment, the team gathers on a bi-weekly basis to address the current state of our KPIs and assess how close or far we are from reaching our targets. This allows the team to better understand their contributions and next steps to reach annual goals, ask questions, and understand the ideas behind company decisions while increasing team communication. By “pulsing faster” – putting an emphasis on consistent company communication – the vision remains top of mind, and gives employees the ability to connect with the overall goals of SPLICE.

Empowering employees:

If employees within your company are engaged with what they’re doing, and what the goals of the company are, they will significantly outperform employees that aren’t. Why? Because they are genuinely invested in being a part of the success and growth of the company they work for. In the same vein, employees who feel like their voice matters (and is heard), will want to share their ideas for betterment.

In the last few months SPLICE decided to give employees the opportunity to rate meeting effectiveness. Communication is key, and having productive meetings, fits hand in hand with this idea. Through this survey, employees were able to rate the effectiveness of the meetings they attended along with the effectiveness of their participation in those meetings. This empowers employees to speak up about what is working and what isn't and how they interact in certain situations. Meetings are an essential part of day to day business and SPLICE employees are empowered to do them right.

Surveys like these also help employees understand that SPLICE implements by example. Not only do we ask the team to give honest feedback, but we implement programs and communication channels to make it possible for them to do so. After the survey results are compiled, we acknowledge responses and implement improvements based on feedback. This empowers employees because they feel like they are being heard and that their ideas matter.

SPLICE employees are encouraged to share team wins with members through email, and during meetings. SPLICE has a system in place where we recognize team members’ efforts with our “High Five” program – using an email template, any team member can send a virtual “High Five” out to recognize or thank a team member or team members for a job well done.

SPLICE will also try to recognize team members through external awards. In 2015, two of our employees were awarded Stevie Awards for Women in Business. We completed their applications for Employee of the Year and they both came out as winners. We have also submitted applications on behalf of employees for more local awards including the City of Calgary Community Involvement Award – although our SPLICE employee did not win, it was a great opportunity to let them know that we not only appreciate the things they do for us here at SPLICE, but also for what they do outside of the office, within our community.

We believe that it is important to understand employee values, motivators, and interests and try to understand what keeps employees fulfilled, and this a key element of what we’ve used to build a truly successful team. SPLICE strives to constantly brainstorm new ideas on how to make employees feel fulfilled and a part of the team, allowing us to retain and nurture some of the top professionals in our field. Team members are encouraged to participate in meetings and speak up about their ideas and concerns on a variety of topics. Having a diverse group of individuals allows us to really hear what people have to say in terms of product launches, product updates, product proposals, etc. One of the greatest differentiators in SPLICE – and a fundamental aspect of the SPLICE culture – is that SPLICE generates its organic voice from its employees. By creating an open forum in which SPLICE employees are encouraged to grow and translate their own unique knowledge to their fellow ‘SPLICErs’, what is created is a stronger, more powerful whole.

With the recent re-organization of our business objectives and KPIs, it was important to understand how employees felt about SPLICE’s new direction. Making sure employees were aligned to the departmental KPIs gave SPLICE the opportunity to be fully transparent on required responsibilities. By creating an understanding of the importance of each KPI, and how it contributed to annual growth goals, Tara was able to make sure that all employees were on the same page. Initially, SPLICE sent out an anonymous “Team Alignment” survey to each department, adapted from the John Spence “Achieving Business Excellence” framework. We measured how each employee viewed our positioning in each of the key performance areas. The results were graphed both by department and overall for the entire team. This process enabled all members of the team to contribute their view, and allowed us to identify inconsistencies in perception/perspective on positioning for success. The results were directly applied to better align the team. Now, each department has set KPIs that are measured and presented to the entire company on a bi-weekly basis.

The key to a fun work environment is finding unique ways to be creative. The SPLICE Calgary office moved into a new building last year and we underwent renovations – SPLICE style! This was the perfect opportunity to grow the SPLICE culture by making the move fun – and use the blank slate of the new office to show off our SPLICE-y personalities. Adding more fun to the mix, we hosted a bathroom renovation competition – the team who re-vamped one of our bathrooms the best, using a small budget, won a dinner night out with their team. The losing team didn’t come out with nothing – they got a smaller prize of a round of drinks at a local lounge. Not only was this an opportunity for employees to be creative and add their personal touches to the office space, but it really allowed our teamwork skills to shine.

SPLICE focuses on allowing our offices to become a space that all employees can enjoy and call their own. Each department had their own budget to personalize their space how they wanted, including our offices in Toronto and Chicago. Having a space in which your employees feel comfortable is important for morale – it is the thing that makes people come in to the office on a daily basis, knowing that where they will spend most of the week is somewhere they want to be.

Ensuring well-being:

It is important to understand how each of your employees likes to be recognized – some may prefer a public announcement where others may prefer a softer one-to-one approach. Recognizing employees for making an impact, whether big or small, will keep them engaged and motivated to keep productivity high – especially during the summer months.

SPLICE has implemented a Surprise & Delight program to celebrate small or big wins with items specifically tailored to the employee’s personality. This program has motivated employees to give a little extra in their day to day work. This could range from coming in early or staying late to finish an important project, or helping out a team member with an issue even though it was not required of them. These small gestures make a big impact and shows the employee that we really do notice and appreciate all the things they do for SPLICE.

As you would expect in a small company, all departments interact with each other every day. Being able to connect on that personal level allows us to grow as a team – a team that fully supports and encourages each other to be better. What makes us unique is that we work hard to maintain a fun yet productive and challenging atmosphere where SPLICErs can really show off their skills and personalities. Our offices are laid out to accommodate open working spaces to really promote team collaboration. Some members of our management team choose to work alongside their employees instead of having their own office. Our management team consists of individuals who are passionate about SPLICE and motivating their employees. They strive to consistently mentor, but not micro-manage, and inspire their teams to make their own decisions and to be creative in their work. This gives employees a chance to improve their skills and really shine in areas that matter to them.

Each employee is a unique piece in our SPLICE puzzle – their continuous commitment to the SPLICE core values is a huge part of this company’s success. We are not only dedicated to growing as a company but as team, and this comes across in the little things that happen each day – in the form of a simple high five or team huddle. All SPLICErs put the effort in to make it feel as if we’re all in one location, even though some of us are countries apart. The relationships created with each employee at SPLICE have allowed us to develop an honest communication style and genuine friendships.

SPLICErs always make an extra effort to stay connected, no matter the borders. An example of this, is our Book Club where all members of the SPLICE team, who like to read novels, are welcome. Each book club member gets the chance to select a book in alphabetical order. When it’s someone’s turn to choose a book, they let the team know the book choice, coordinate an outing about a month from the day the book is selected, and bring questions about the book to the meeting for the whole team to discuss – between drinks and snacks, of course. The only rule is that all the monthly book club outings need to be held in a place with WIFI, so that the remote book club members (from the Toronto office) can be a part of it as well.

Additionally, our company culture is essentially what makes our environment unique – we believe that taking care of employees, and motivating them to be the best versions of themselves, is the driving force for growth and innovation. Not one accomplishment, big or small, will go unnoticed, and each failure is celebrated as a new beginning and a chance to improve. With the SPLICE team behind you, you are capable of anything!

SPLICE’s core hours, as described in our corporate on-boarding package are 8:30am – 4:30pm local time. Specific working hours per employee are mutually agreed upon with their direct supervisor. Employees are permitted to work from home on days when a child is sick or a life emergency comes up, allowing SPLICE team members to feel appreciated and unrestricted in their career. SPLICE offers Flex Days to all employees, which enables employees to easily take full or half days off with minimal notice. Flex days are included in our Personal Time Off policy, described in more detail below.

It is our goal to recognize that our employees know themselves best, and to give them the most freedom possible to enable them to bring their best work. Employees can work with their managers and agree upon a working schedule that works with both the employee and SPLICE.

Annual entitlement to Personal Time Off (PTO) is specified in each employee’s employment contract, and is described therein as vacation days, flex days and sick days – these can be taken in full days, half days, or consecutive days. PTO is offered annually based on the calendar year. In the first year of employment, PTO will be prorated to Dec 31 based on the number of days employed during the calendar year.

PTO in excess of one consecutive day requires approval. In this instance, the employee must complete a Vacation Request Form and submit it to their manager for approval. Managers will review/approve and submit to the Executive Assistant. Employees will be provided with a copy of their approved vacation request and a confirmation that their vacation days have been added to the corporate calendar. PTO less than, or equal to, one day does not require approval. In this instance it is only required that the employee inform the team on the day of through an email to the team – this is also the case for “Sick Days”. In the case of extensive time off due to illness, the need for additional sick days beyond annual PTO will be reviewed, and agreed upon in conjunction with SPLICE’s Health & Wellness insurance on a case by case basis.

Teamwork:

SPLICE holds monthly huddles in which the whole team gathers to share details on their current projects. It is an opportunity to request support where needed and recognize any company successes or “wins”. With offices in Calgary, Toronto, and Chicago, we are always trying to implement innovative ways to have the team interact across the different departments and offices. With the strong belief in company culture that is central to SPLICE, the various offices now remain constantly connected with team events and across the infinitely mobile workforce. This ensures that we exist in a state of constant connectivity and alignment. This connectivity breaks down the silos that might prevent the culture from expanding throughout all channels of SPLICE, creating an international family whose primary purpose is to drive employees to share ideas beneficial to SPLICE’s growth and success. Each department also has daily huddles – these huddles are meant to be quick and short, focusing on each employee’s planned tasks for that day and how it will affect their team.

Diversity:

SPLICE follows our regular hiring process and, from doing this, we have naturally been able to build a very diverse team. SPLICE – like Canada – is a mosaic – our team consists of unique members from varying backgrounds (personal and professional) that create a connected whole of individuals.

We put a large focus on our corporate vision and culture, hiring only those employees who are as dedicated and focused on reaching our vision and meeting corporate goals. Recruitment at SPLICE consists of a variety of steps to ensure only candidates that fit both the corporate culture (based on personality and interests) and professional requirements are selected. SPLICE creates a job posting that reflects our brand and culture and will attract potential applicants. Junior recruitment is mainly done through post-secondary career fairs. We rely on career fairs because we believe that meeting in person will attract culturally fit applicants while also acting as an opportunity to pre-screen candidates for professional fit. Senior recruitment is done through online resources, referrals and recruitment firms that are familiar with our culture and core values.

A pre-screening interview is done over the phone, or directly at career fairs, to see what first impressions the candidates make. Once candidates have passed the pre-screening portion of the recruitment process, they are invited to an in person interview with their potential department-head to assess necessary skills and qualifications.

The final step of SPLICE’s recruitment process is our culture fit interview which is performed after qualifications have been verified. Culture fit interviews consist of a handful of SPLICE employees sitting with the candidate to talk, in person, on a more personal level – about their interests, hobbies, etc. Culture fit interviews are focused significantly on our core values. The outcome of these culture fit interviews is an important factor in the final decision making process; however, culture fit is measured throughout the entire recruitment process.

SPLICE selects contractors based on the same process as employees. We look for contractors that fit with our culture and believe that through this relationship “we can make it better”.

Longevity:

Please see the chart below for number of years by each department:

Management

3.90

Years

4 Employees

Client Care

1.98

Years

4 Employees

Business Office

2.67

Years

4 Employees

Development

1.80

Years

5 Employees

Marketing

2.03

Years

3 Employees

Sales

1.08

Years

4 Employees

TOTAL AVG

2.24

Years

24 Employees

Closing company statements: Looking at someone’s education and background can be helpful when screening job candidates, but the best indicator for determining who is the right fit can’t always be found on a resume. Candidates should know we are committed to our core values. Some of the key qualities we look for in future SPLICEr’s include:

  • A WILLINGNESS TO TAKE RISKS: Owning mistakes shows that the candidate isn’t afraid to make them. If they say they never want to make a mistake again, it’s a red flag. You cannot guarantee you’ll never fail again unless you stop taking chances.
  • A COMMITMENT TO SELF-IMPROVEMENT: One of SPLICE’s core values is that it always can be better. SPLICE looks for candidates who tell stories of improving a process or making something better in their lives or in past professions.
  • EAGER TO LEARN: We are curious as to how potential candidates spend their time off. We are extremely interested in individuals who navigate the world from a place of curiosity.
  • A WILLINGNESS TO HELP OTHERS: Stories that involve teamwork and a willingness to help others is important. If you are not willing to help others, you are not someone meant to be on the SPLICE team.
  • A LOVE OF FOOD: SPLICE employees are all interested in food. As previously mentioned, we celebrate Pi Day on March 14, and make many excuses for potlucks. A commonly asked culture-fit interview question is, “what is your favorite pie?” SPLICE offices have a big kitchen, and food is the heart of our work family. If the person isn’t excited to talk about and share food, they’re probably not a fit.
  • SOMEONE WHO CAN REACT AND ADJUST: Technology evolves quickly, and so does SPLICE. A candidate’s actions can give insight into their personality, and we want to see if candidates can recognize change and adjust quickly and efficiently to adapt.

Our workplace is like a family, and we are always looking for someone who is the right fit – while also ensuring that we are the right fit for the candidate as well. As mentioned, culture interviews are part of the SPLICE hiring process, but that process starts with the job ad, which includes quotes from current employees about what it’s like to work at the company. Such as:

  • “SPLICE offers an enjoyable and friendly atmosphere to work in. It’s energizing to have a flexible, reliable and experienced team to work alongside. I’m particularly impressed at how the team operates in a way that puts collective goals ahead of individual success. I have worked for some great companies during my career, but none of them can match the teamwork environment at SPLICE! They keep me young!” – Nishi Mohan, Regional Sales Director
  • “My favorite part of the SPLICE Software employee experience is a chance to collaborate with such a youthful and energetic team. The office is filled with people driven to accomplish tasks and find solutions to real problems without a need for crippling management overhead or stuffy professionalism. SPLICE is a perfect environment for a young professional like myself to grow into the real world of business and enterprise.” – Ben Miller, Developer
  • “Our close, tight-knit team works together to problem solve and develop the highest quality solutions for our clients. The working environment is fun, comfortable and flexible – a true example of a company that understands ‘work/life balance’.” – Tracy Bradley, Director of Client Care

SPLICE3

Overall, potential candidates should know that, at SPLICE, we are not just a group of co-workers. We are friends and we strive to improve the relationships around us. We are not afraid to take chances, start debates, and make mistakes because it is how we learn, grow and innovate who we are and what we do. Candidates should join our team because they want to be a part of an incredible journey, one that is just beginning. A journey that would not be possible without the amazing and diverse group of individuals that are currently a part of our team.

Back to the entire list of TMCnet 2016 Tech Culture Award winners.

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